Fifty Shades of Grey really isn’t all that bad. I do make sure to watch movies objectively as well as independent of what others maybe saying about them already. While the film is targeted at all the women who are so fondly attached to the book, it’s not like this is a typical “chick flick” that men should be bored watching. I mean it’s pretty much all about sex.
If anything, the reason why most men are not interested in this phenomenon is that they figure the story is probably too tame for a book that’s supposed to be about kink and S&M. The book has been labeled “mommy porn” by many, meaning it’s kinky in the eyes of the settled-down mother demographic. But it’s obviously reached much more than that as it has become so huge, and the movie itself has been making a tremendous amount of money due to the anticipation of the book’s adaptation to film.
While it’s maybe not as graphic as some other films, it’s not completely timid either. The main character, Anastasia Steele, is told by Christian Grey right off the bat that he doesn’t do the girlfriend thing and he doesn’t “make love”; he prefers another term for what he does. It becomes immediately clear that this no love story. Grey is a dominant man looking for a woman who will be his submissive. He wants full control of the relationship and for the woman to pretty much cater to his every whim. He even makes out long, detailed contracts for his women to sign if they agree to the situation. He’s a rich man, and must protect himself from any lawsuit. That’s how hardcore the things he likes to do to women apparently are.
Of course the film doesn’t show everything because then it would get an NC-17 rating and not make nearly as much money. But aside from whatever amount of sex is shown, it’s the characters that really make the movie work. The two stars are not well-known but they do seem to have a strong chemistry on screen together and carry the entire film. More familiar faces like Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden and singer Rita Ora (who is literally on screen for about 10 seconds) are completely underused. But luckily, the main two characters have enough screen presence to make the film watchable. It does, however, lack the depth of a better film from a dozen years ago called Secretary, which showed how an S&M-type relationship could actually be what brings 2 people to fall in love with each other. There really isn’t any love here – just more of a strong connection. But it’s entertaining nonetheless. Many women will love it, but I don’t think the guys will mind it as much as they think.